SEWARD, Neb. – Bulldog newcomers unleashed an early offensive flurry upon visiting Tabor College (Kan.) while getting the 2018 season started in satisfying fashion. Roger de la Villa, Jack Arra and Konrad Sinu each peppered the back of the net in the first 11 minutes as part of a comfortable 4-2 win over the visiting Bluejays on Saturday (Aug. 25).
Despite the loss of an accomplished 2017-18 senior class, 11th-year head coach Jason Weides’ program has retained lofty expectations. On Saturday afternoon, Concordia began to answer questions about how it will replace all of the offensive production that has moved on.
“The start was good to get up early and to get a second and third goal pretty quickly,” Weides said. “When you get up three goals part of the challenge is making sure complacency doesn’t roll in and you’re still playing at the same level. I think today a little bit, we dropped the ball on that in terms of maintaining that consistency and continuing to add to that tally. Overall there were some good things.”
While the newcomers provided much of the offensive firepower, much of the starting lineup featured familiar faces, such as goalkeeper Jack Bennett and forward Carlos Ferrer. Weides also has high regard for budding sophomore Garrett Perry, who assisted on the first and third goals. At that point, it looked like it would be an all-out rout.
It didn’t quite turn out that way despite a 21-9 Bulldog advantage in the shot count. A David Reyes goal in the 50th minute and a Michael Caulley tally in the 76th minute kept things from getting out of hand. Concordia had regained a three-goal advantage in the 74th minute when junior David Carrasco headed in an impressive goal off a corner kick by JP Verissimo. It was also the first career goal for Carrasco.
Next time around, Weides wants to see his team tighten things up defensively. Tabor’s second goal came largely because of a mistake in the back.
“Defensively we have to see out the game,” Weides said. “We allowed a couple goals in the second half. There was disappointment as far as how we finished the game. We need to get better at team defending and individual defending. This could have been a game, had we performed the way we are capable of, we probably should have walked away with a shutout. To be fair to Tabor, they kept on coming at us.”
Though there were some shortcoming in game No. 1, Concordia seemed to flash the talent and technical ability needed to maintain its status as a GPAC contender. A transfer from Marshalltown Community College, de la Villa got things going with a goal after just 1:58 had elapsed. Afterwards, he got a cool down ice shower from his teammates during a postgame interview. He’s already one of the guys.
Said de la Villa, “I feel really good being here with all those guys. They’re really friendly and I feel so comfortable. That shows in the way the team performs during games.”
A native of Barcelona, Spain, de la Villa put four shots on frame as part of an active afternoon. Ferrer took six shots, including four on goal and was credited with an assist.
The Bulldogs will face their first road test of 2018 when they go to nearby York College on Tuesday (Aug. 28). The match will get started at 3:30 p.m. CT. In last season’s renewal of Nebraska rivals, Concordia topped the Panthers, 2-0, in Seward.